Friday, February 23, 2007

Beady little eyes

I am a sucker for packaging. If someone put rocks in a nice bag with a cute label and some ribbon, I would probably buy it. When I give someone a gift, I will spend twice as much time (and sometimes money) packaging it as I will on the gift itself. This is something you should know about me.

Last summer, I was asked to teach a bead class for my quilting group in January. This group, which meets twice a month, has on average 60 active members. At the time, January seemed years away and I said, "Sure!!". I decided on an eyeglass leash, provided a materials list and promptly forgot about it until the person who was scheduled to teach in February asked to swap dates with me. I realized then that I should start giving this class business some attention, but at least I bought myself another month to think about it (the other thing you need to know is that I am a hopeless procrastinator). At this time, my friend Jill mentioned that she would like to take the class, but didn't want to go out and buy all the materials. The seed was planted "I'll make kits!" I thought.

Fast forward 3 weeks: This past Monday, I realized that my class was on Friday (today) and that I still hadn't done any preparation. I went to the bead store and spent $20 on beads...

Tuesday evening: Pilates and knitting. Plenty of time to think about beads...

Wednesday evening: After my evening dental appointment (2 cavities in my wisdom teeth, dammit. Yes, I still have my wisdom teeth. No, I don't want them removed) I finally arrived home at 8:30 and started making bead soup. At 12:00, Mr. Strange reminded me that I had to get up and go to work the next day. Ate cheese popcorn for supper (so much for the clean teeth) and went to bed at 12:30 thinking "need more pink beads, need to buy glasses parts, how will I package them?...."

Thursday evening: After Pilates class, I headed out for more supplies. One of our local craft stores, Craft Mania, is going out of business: 50% off everything in the store. They sell yarn. Nice yarn. Can I live without Debbie Bliss Pure Silk or Pure Cashmere? At 50% off? I haven't decided yet, but I couldn't live without this pattern...
Beads. Must focus on beads... (Note to self: go back to store on Saturday to buy yarn).

A visit to AC Moore and $50 later, I headed home and made 20 kits for the class. I could have just thrown everything in one big Ziploc bag. But No! I had to package everything "just so".
Seed beads in one bag, focus beads in another larger bag and crimps, eyeglass loops and tiger tail in an even larger bag. All nicely layered on white glossy card stock and stapled together. They were so pretty! If I'd had the time {ahem} I would have made labels with the name of each color scheme and maybe used clear Chinese take-out boxes....Oh well. Ate cheese popcorn for supper and went to bed at 12:30 again.

I wish I had taken a photo of all the kits. Was it worth it? Oh yeah. I sold all but 2 of the 20 kits I brought (at $5 each - you can do the math, no profit) and everyone had a great time. This is one of the unsold kits that I would have called "Coral Reef".
This is the leash made by my friend Jill (in color "Sea Breeze")...

She had to leave early to go to a sporting event, so I finished it for her.

This is the sample I made for the class ("Beach Glass"). Those are my "Peepers" which I have to wear when I get a splinter because I can't see up close anymore. This makes me sad. My eye doctor told me a year ago that I needed "Progressive" lenses and I refused. I am just not ready. I don't care if you call them "Progressive", they are still "bifocals" and I am only 39. So there! Of course the Peepers only work if I wear them over my regular glasses. Yeah, it looks dumb, but I don't get many splinters (I guess you could add stubborn to that list of things about me).

I could really get into this packaging thing!

If you are interested in making a leash of your own, check out these instructions at BeadieFriends. We used 2 crimps on either side of a focus bead for a stronger join. For excellent instructions on crimping, check out these instructions at

So now it's 12:26 and I ate cheese popcorn for supper.

At the end of March (many weeks from now) I am teaching another class to make these bags at my quilt group's annual Getaway weekend. I'm thinking that I should bring some kits....

Until then, I plan to sleep in, knit, and eat some real food.


Lisa said...

Haha do you offer online classes? I wish I lived near you. I would take both of your classes! I looked at the instructions that you gave the link for. I am not sure I understand the instructions for the ends (eyeglass holder part). I am so bad at reading directions. Your bags are great too! I would love to make one of those! I have the perfect fabric for one!

Loriticajane said...

Wow the eyeglass leashes look great! I love the kits! Nice colors. =)

I am 36 and got started wearing for the first time in December. When the eye doc said,"Well you are going to need regular glasses and reading glasses." I freaked and said I was too young for bifocals. "My MOTHER has bifocals!" So, now I have the progressive transitions lenses. Gaed I feel old. Bah. BUT I just might have to make a leash for my glasses!

Those bags are too cute.